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Russian mercenaries and Mali army accused of killing 300 civilians

Human Rights Watch says deaths during anti-jihadist operation in Moura ‘the worst atrocity in Mali in a decade’

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Human Rights Watch says deaths during anti-jihadist operation in Moura ‘the worst atrocity in Mali in a decade’

Highlights

  • Human Rights Watch says 300 civilian men were allegedly executed over five days in March.
  • HRW says it is the worst single atrocity reported in Mali’s decade-long armed conflict.
  • Mali’s army has long been accused of rights abuses during counter-insurgency operations.
  • It has forged closer links with Russia after its relations soured with the west – its former ally France – which has committed to scaling down its forces in the Sahel region.
  • The country is under sanctions from the west Africa bloc Ecowas for ignoring an earlier commitment to hold elections in February this year.
  • Germany’s foreign ministry urged Mali to hold an independent investigation into the reports of civilian deaths.